Habitual Salvation

by Nick Zaino

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1.
Pour Me A River Come along, if just for the ride And I’ll stay with you all night Leave these gods and goddesses on their worn-out shores We’ve got nothing but ourselves to live for And if we drown, so be it I’m not afraid of what comes next So pour me a river, I’ll drink it all And never miss a drop of you Pour me a river, I’ll swim it all ‘Till I’ve got the last of you We walk among the righteous proclaimers The sin-namers and the autocrats They come with their hooks and I brush them off our backs You should know, you should trust We are ocean enough to dissolve the dust So pour me a river, I’ll drink it all And never miss a drop of you Pour me a river, I’ll swim it all ‘Till I’ve got the last of you Come along, if just for the ride Let me convince you it’ll be all right Man makes a tablet of stone But we make our love our own And if we die, so be it I’m not afraid of what comes next So pour me a river, I’ll drink it all And never miss a drop of you Pour me a river, I’ll swim it all ‘Till I’ve got the last of you Pour me a river, I’ll drink it all And never miss a drop of you Pour me a river, I’ll swim it all ‘Till I’ve got the last of you
2.
Better When You’re Strange I like you better when you’re strange Your eyes flash and the colors change Feels like when you’re with me You’re someone no one else can see I like you better when you’re strange You give me something I can taste But when you hang around those boys Your charm goes to waste I don’t just want you for the things they do But hell, I want you for those things, too I just want to help you fit into To a shape that feels like you You like Picasso and old man bars I like my comic books and cheap guitars I’m not saying that we’re writ in the stars But we fit in all my favorite parts I like you better when you’re strange When you’re breaking down the gates When you’re dancing on their front lawn In your suspenders and a cape Don’t keep me waiting Come out and play I like you better when you’re strange Oh, when you’re something short of sane Whatever’s twirling in your brain Makes me want to know your name I don’t just want you for the things they do Unless you want me for those things, too And I could love every part of you And never have to stop and think it through You like turtle wax and shaving scars I like jelly from a mason jar Nothing about you is too bizarre To ever keep us apart I like you better when you’re strange Your eyes flash and the colors change Feels like when you’re with me You’re someone no one else can see
3.
Doorstep Lullaby Phil sat out on his doorstep A light snow coming down Stared down at the tracks on the sidewalk Leading away from his house He coughed up from the cold But he didn’t want to go back inside Laid his head on his concrete pillow Ink running down the paper at his side And there’s a light in the house behind him And there’s a warmth he cannot face He thinks there might be comfort In any other place Around three in the morning The street came very still Phill was wide awake Steam rising from his breath The street lights were switching off No expression on his face Thoughts fighting for a way out Head frozen in place And there’s a light in the house behind him And there’s a warmth he cannot face He thinks there might be comfort In any other place If anyone had seen him They might have tried to talk sense He won’t listen anyhow He’s got his own music now Doorstep lullaby Doorstep lullaby Doorstep lullaby
4.
First Broken Heart In the World Every heart before this heart Has beat in perfect rhythm And no heart before this heart Has every truly been broken You can’t tell me that anyone Has ever felt just like this The world would have stopped, shaken, and died in a heaving fit ‘Cause I’ve got the first broken heart in the world I’ve got the first broken heart in history I’ve got the first broken heart in the world I’ve got the first broken heart in history I see these people walking around And everyone’s in love And every one will last forever And everyone’s got enough You can’t tell me their happiness Will disappear just like that No one knows this woe is me Or what it’s like to get squashed flat ‘Cause I’ve got the first broken heart in the world I’ve got the first broken heart in history I’ve got the first broken heart in the world I’ve got the first broken heart in history Don’t try to tell me anything There’s nothing left to tell A million hearts, a million years No one’s ever faced this hell Every heart before this heart Has beat in perfect rhythm And no heart before this heart Has every truly been broken You can’t tell me that anyone Has ever felt just like this The world would have stopped, shaken, and died, no one would have survived it ‘Cause I’ve got the first broken heart in the world I’ve got the first broken heart in history I’ve got the first broken heart in the world I’ve got the first broken heart in history
5.
Habitual Salvation There’s a difference between believing and being faithful There’s a difference between knowledge and trust There’s a difference between leading yourself through the fire And knowing that somehow you must He walked through the shadow of the steeple But did not feel the weight Pharisee did not see the world he passed by To get to his heavenly gate Forsaking this world for the next With no burden on his chest Just habitual salvation, no rest He cast aside the seekers For a solitary truth Never thinking he might need a bigger love than he could see He held on to his corner of the proof Forsaking this world for the next With no burden on his chest Just habitual salvation, no rest
6.
Fall In Love With Losing The city went to sleep early Came in from the rain and called it a day You’re still up wondering how it all got spent You wasted so much time And now you won’t even let yourself close your eyes You take trouble that’s twice your size You fall in love with losing Now it’s all that you do Why, oh why did you wait so long To do all the things once ahead of you Now they’ve got behind you Nothing left but bad decisions So ready the fences and bolt down the doors No one’s coming anymore You fall in love with losing It’s what you’re used to You fall in love with losing Now it’s all that you do You fall in love with losing You fall asleep on the floor You fall in love with losing Now it’s all you’re good for You beat the bricks each morning You give up by noon and find your way home You beg the sun for the moon, please send her here soon You were young and strong It wasn’t too long ago, it gets fixed in your mind But it’s all moving pictures and it feels like lies You fall in love with losing It’s all that you You fall in love with losing Losing loves you, too You fall in love with losing You fall asleep on the floor You fall in love with losing Now it’s all you’re good for You fall in love with losing Now it’s all you’re good for
7.
Brittle 03:38
Brittle I don’t worry about my body, I’m not concerned with my soul Beyond a certain point they are beyond my control And I don’t worry about you, because I don’t know where you are And I’m never going to know I’m never gonna know I don’t look for consolation, it’s not for me to find It’s happenstance at best, if it shows I still have your address, And I used to love your doorway Somewhere I’ll never go again Someplace I’ll never know again Living without you I’m just a house without a roof The wind and rain, they blow right through me And the midday sun comes and dries me out again And leaves me that much more brittle to the touch every time Every time I finally let my heart break, now the tissue’s covered over Feels a little funny when it moves My favorite place in my living room Is a dark square on the wall where our picture used to hang That never faded in sun And I might paint over it in a month or two In a week or two Maybe soon Living without you, I’m just a house without a roof The wind and rain, they blow right through me And the midday sun comes and dries me out again And leaves me that much more brittle to the touch every time Every time
8.
In This World I just want to give you a reason to say, “I miss you, baby, please come home.” And I need for you to give me a reason to say, “I miss you, baby, please come home.” We won’t always be side by side in this world, In this world. And there’s a lot of open space to get between us in this world, But this world is our home. I wish that I could stand the heights it takes for us to see all the beauty in the world all at once And I wish that I could go back and meet you again, but that’s all we get, just once There are days when we forget we’re in this world, In this world. But the blue skies and sand and the touch of your hand, Are part of this world. I just want to give you a reason to say, “I love you, baby, please stay home.” And I need for you to give me a reason to say, “I love you, baby, please stay home.” We won’t always be side by side in this world, In this world. But the blue skies and sand and the touch of your hand, Are part of this world.
9.
Time To Go South Sitting counting stitches running down my chest I’ve lost a lot of blood but I’m not finished yet Could really use a laugh but I might fall apart But trying to hold it in has gotten just too hard Well they tell me that I’m fading, it just seems funny If this is how it ends then I never saw it coming Lying in the waiting room I can feel it running out So ready or not, It’s time to go south Someone else’s family in a picture frame I’m thinking I won’t make it but the doctor thinks he’s famous If this is the punchline then god’s a lazy comic So if I get to come back I’ll put a better spin on it Everybody’s talking with their voices down low Just what’s killing me, no one seems to know Everything they’re telling me seems like a joke And my blood continues to flow Yeah, my blood continues to flow Well they tell me that I’m fading, it just seems funny If this is how it ends then I never saw it coming Lying in the waiting room I can feel it running out So ready or not, It’s time to go south Sitting counting stitches running down my chest I’ve lost a lot of blood but I’m not finished yet Could really use a laugh but I might fall apart But trying to hold it in has gotten just too hard So ready or not, Ready or not, Ready or not, It’s time to go south
10.
Who Wants To Die Happy? I’m not as bad as I was Not as good as I could be At least that’s what I keep telling me Just to try to stay sane If I want to die happy/ But who wants to die happy? It’s not as good as it sounds. Don’t forget that you’re dead All my old bad habits They used to keep me alive Now I don’t know what happened I’ve got to put them aside Someone threw a switch, and I threw a fit And now I gotta be a new man Just to keep the old one from dying I’m not as bad as I was Not as good as I could be At least that’s what I keep telling me Just to try to stay sane If I want to die happy/ But who wants to die happy? It’s not as good as it sounds. Don’t forget that you’re dead Which do I like better? Hungry and alive? Or dead and satisfied? I’ve been wasting time/Thinking ‘bout the time I’ve wasted If I can’t kill me, maybe no one else can, too I keep it on my mind/All the things that I’ve tasted All the luck that I’ve misread/Whatever lies up ahead The best of it was time with you I’m not as bad as I was Not as good as I could be At least that’s what I keep telling me Just to try to stay sane If I want to die happy/ But who wants to die happy? It’s not as good as it sounds. Don’t forget that you’re dead

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Recorded live in the studio.

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released November 29, 2019

Nick Zaino: vocals, guitar, harmonica
Engineered at iZotope Studios by Matt Carlson
Mixed and mastered by Chris Johnson
Special thanks to Rachel Alix

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Nick Zaino Boston, Massachusetts

Nick Zaino is a Boston-based Americana musician, podcaster, and journalist. His debut full-length album is Blue Skies and Broken Arrows.

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